AutoRAI 1999 - the concept cars:
SEAT & Toyota
is a Spanish company owned by the Volkswagen concern. It has a rather faceless history,
being originally not much more than a local manufacturer of FIAT products. Volkswagen
wants to turn SEAT into an Alfa-Romeo kind of brand (you know, sporty and temperamental)
and are trying to accomplish that by showing flashy new designs like this Bolero.
This car was introduced at the Geneva car show in 1998 and its full name is
Bolero 330 BT, where 330 stands for the power output of the engine (330 hp) and BT for
Bi-Turbo. Quite a powerful engine also: it produces 500 Nm torque and it's a V6 with 2.8
litre displacement. To get the power on the road it has permanent four wheel drive and a
sequential gearbox. The cars weighs an impressive 1615 kg and accelerates from 0 to 100
kph in about 5 seconds; top speed is 273 kph.
designers claim it's a GT limousine and they're probably right. It looks like a coupé but
has four doors and four seats. Also we see the current trend in car design: no B-pillar
between the doors. But instead of opposing opening doors the SEAT designers choose to fit
sliding back doors.
The Bolero is a spectacular looking car, sporty and powerful, but there are no plans to take up production. Certain aspects of the car will however reappear in normal SEAT production cars. The new Toledo is a good example of that, especially the design of the front of the car.
for a new MR-2 model is this MR-S. The design resembles in more than one way the original
MR-2 model of the eighties, which was highly successful as opposed to the current MR-2.
Where the original MR-2 had a fixed roof with removable targa-type panels this MR-S is a
straight forward convertible. It's still mid-engined like all MR-2s.
The looks are sporty but boxy and in my opinion a bit out of date. I didn't think the current MR-2 design was that bad (I rather like it actually), but the Toyota designers seem to think otherwise. The new MR-2 will be introduced in the second half of 1999.
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